After working in videos for the past eight months I did a photo shoot last Saturday with a male and a female model. I was just going to shoot Coty but when I suggested we do a duo shoot with a female model he took off with the idea and Jacqueline was the result.
The only other male-female duo I shot was Scott and Chanté in 2008, my first shoot with two models with the same Scott and Arron who brought him in for the shoot earlier that year. Models when they’re new to me don’t feel free to pose for the camera. A friend behind the scenes can loosen them up. Posing is both serious and fun. When seriousness dominates we can get stuck in deadpan images, what in Filipino-Spanish we call “de cahón.” Straight out of the box. It’s quality we’ve come to expect from the industrial age, quality that is identical from one item to the next that rolls off the conveyor belt.
I must admit that my goal these last two years has been to achieve that industrial sameness, a certain minimum of quality in the shoot, because I was new to the craft. In the normal course of events a young person goes to college or undergoes apprenticeship, this latter now too a vanishing phenomenon except in the higher echelons of business and art to which few of us have access. I’m an autodidact. I study and learn on my own, a modus with disadvantages and advantages.
While still working on industrial quality I find myself comfortable enough in the medium to widen its expression. What I need to do is to create artistic discomfort, to see anew, to push the medium not to the reaches other photographers have created with their own disruption of comfort but to my own Loki realities. What is beautiful but something that makes us look and see again as though we’ve had eyes to see just moments ago?
I want to do more duo shoots. I think two women, one older, almost a mother, one younger, could be interesting. Meanwhile Arron is bringing his girlfriend, Brittany, for a shoot this evening. That can be interesting, too because Arron is a natural in front of the camera. A craftsman has to take what he can get and shape it into something worth seeing, worth having as part of our familiar world. We’ve always had this, we say of anything we’ve seen once but it takes a special eye to dream it before it came to being.